Instagram Rate Limit Change (Oct 2018)

Due to recent changes from Instagram, all apps using the Instagram API (Application Programming Interface), including Sprout, can make 200 requests per hour from Instagram’s API—a significant reduction from the previous limit of 5000 requests per hour. This may cause some incoming messages and reporting data to be delayed, or in some cases, to not populate in Sprout. We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve these issues.

What is an API request?
As with all software that uses Instagram’s API, Sprout continually makes requests to receive and display information (e.g. messages, data, etc.) whenever new content is available.

What happens when the hourly rate limit is hit?
You won’t receive any new Instagram content until your rate limit resets (once per hour). Content will start appearing in Sprout once the limit resets and we can start polling again. In most cases, content that would have appeared within the time your rate limit is hit and when it resets will surface once that limit resets.

Some incoming comments may never surface in Sprout in cases where your post receives over 150 comments within the time your rate limit is hit and when it resets. The only way to access those comments is within the native Instagram app. This use case will likely be resolved before the end of 2018 and you will resume seeing all incoming comments.

What can I do to detect if I have missing information in Sprout?
The best way to detect missing content is to log in to Instagram natively and compare your information.

If I use other third-party tools to access Instagram, will this affect my rate limit?
Yes. Any additional software that your profile uses to make requests from Instagram’s API will factor into your 200 requests per hour limit. We recommend you discontinue using other third-party tools if you are continuously having rate limiting issues.

What can I do to reduce my risk of hitting the rate limit?
Your account is more likely to be affected if you fit the following criteria:

  • You have brand keywords set up that pull in a high volume of incoming messages
  • You have Instagram accounts connected in multiple third-party tools that access Instagram’s API
  • Your posts often receive a high volume of comments within a short timeframe (this use case will likely be resolved before the end of 2018).

To minimize your impact, we recommend reducing the amount of tools that access Instagram’s API and remove any brand keywords that pull in high volumes and aren’t as relevant to your brand.

Will the rate limit ever be raised to prevent us from not seeing our content and data?
We are unsure at this time. As an Official Instagram Partner, Sprout is currently working with Instagram to determine if these issues can be alleviated.

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